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  • #203891
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    Well, I guess this pile of parts means I really am starting another build. I’ve kind of been in denial up to this point ;)

    This started because my mother-in-law got a new PC (so technically this is her fault ;-)   ). I noticed her old one had 7.1 sound, so I took it and have been slowly forming a loose plan.

    The concept for this one is a small cabinet that can sit on a table or bar.

    Mostly this is to make use of the 22″ 16:10 monitor she had.

    Final size will be something like 24″ x 24″x12″. It’ll be 2 screen with dmd integrated in the backglass. I plan to have a minimal SSF setup for feedback, a plunger, and always-on lighted buttons.

    This will be my second build. My first was a budget friendly ($500) full size cab. More here: https://vpinball.com/forums/topic/500-full-size-cab-can-it-be-done-lets-find-out/

    16022478787920

    #203902
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    Here’s the basic shape I’m imagining for the side profile. The playfield monitor will sit flush with the top of the cab, with no glass. I realize this poses a bit of a risk, but since it’s a bartop unit, I think the risk of screen damage, of someone putting a glass or bottle on the playfield, etc. is fairly minimal. The backglass monitor will be angled back slightly to improve the viewing angle.

    outline

    The goal of my first build was to lower the bar for people wanting to get into this hobby and show that you didn’t need to invest thousands of dollars to get into virtual pinball. So, for that build, I meticulously documented my budget. I won’t do that this time, but I will share how much I’m spending on most of the major components.

    I’m hoping this will have a relatively modest budget, but I’ve seen plenty of great, affordable bartop build threads and I don’t think I’m doing anything unique in that regard. I’m committed to including analog nudge, SSF, and a real plunger. So if anything, I expect this to cost a little more than most budget mini-cab builds, especially the ones that, like mine, start out with a free PC.

    Here’s a start on my expenses so far:

    • Computer: $Free Dell Inspiron 570 (Athlon II x4, 8GB RAM)
    • Playfield: $Free Dell 22″ 16:10 monitor
    • Backglass: $15 used 4:3 19″ monitor in portrait orientation (Craigslist)
    • GPU: $25 used MSI ATI Radeon HD 7790 (ebay)
    • Plunger: $20 (ebay)
    • Slide Pot: $7 linear 10k ohm 90mm (ebay)
    • 7 led arcade buttons: $12 (ebay)
    • KL25Z – $22 (digi-key)
    • Amps: $10 2 x 10w PAM8610 audio boards (Amazon)
    • Speakers: $Free I’m reusing the speakers I cut out of the LCD I used for my full-size playfield
    • Exciters: $10 2 x Dayton DAEX25 (Amazon)
    • Plywood: $20 4’x4′ 1/2″ ply (Lowes)

    Total: $141

    What’s missing:

    Leaf switches for the flipper buttons – I know arcade buttons aren’t great for pinball. I have leaf switches on my full-size cab and I may upgrade this later. We’ll see.

    Graphics – I’d love to do full color vinyl for this. But I think that’ll cost more than the entire rest of the project. So I’m probably going to paint and stencil it.

    Subwoofer – A “nice to have” but not necessary, especially in a small build like this.

    2 More Exciters – A typical SSF setup uses 4 exciters. This is a small cabinet and I think I can get away with just two. We’re a lot better at interpreting stereo sound than we are front/back. On my full-size cab, I initially had my front/rear exciters wired backwards. It took me a surprisingly long time to notice. So I think left/right exciters will get the job done for a minimal SSF setup in a small cabinet like this.

    #203963
    ZZleeZZ
    Participant
    @zzleezz

    Awesome. I really enjoyed your budget build thread, it was a big part of what made me start my own build. I’m making videos of my build and putting them on YouTube – I’ll make a separate post so I don’t hijack yours. But what you were saying about it being a table top chimed with what I was intending to do with mine. Even though I was building in a slightly larger case (27″ playfield) I have to on the idea of making it a table top. I just couldn’t see how I was going to fit everything inside, especially on my first go at a pinball.

    Really intrigued to see if you manage it!

    Good luck!

    All things ZZleeZZ

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #204005
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    Awesome. I really enjoyed your budget build thread, it was a big part of what made me start my own build. I’m making videos of my build and putting them on YouTube – I’ll make a separate post so I don’t hijack yours. But what you were saying about it being a table top chimed with what I was intending to do with mine. Even though I was building in a slightly larger case (27″ playfield) I have to on the idea of making it a table top. I just couldn’t see how I was going to fit everything inside, especially on my first go at a pinball.

    Really intrigued to see if you manage it!

    Good luck!

    Do you have a build thread? Go ahead and share a link to your channel here. I’d love to see your bar top build for some inspiration.

    Fitting everything inside will be a little tricky, but I think it’ll be manageable. I’ll have to remove the PC from the case and support the graphics card somehow. But I don’t think it’ll be too difficult. Here’s one possibility.

    I didn’t include the audio amps because they are just two very small circuit boards. I’m planning to mount them behind the backglass with the volume knobs poking out the back panel for easy sound adjustment. But I think everything else is there. The PSU is the only piece I’m worried about. To lay it out like this I’d have to be sure the whole thing is tall enough for the flipper buttons to clear it. I guess I could also swap it with the pinscape if I had to.

    layout

    #204006
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    I could use some inspiration when it comes to how to lock the playfield monitor in place. Adding something like a normal lock bar (even one made of wood) will add several inches to the length of the cab. So I want to keep things pretty minimal, but also don’t want the playfield falling out during normal moving of the cab.

    Got any suggestions?

    #204035
    ZZleeZZ
    Participant
    @zzleezz

    Awesome. I really enjoyed your budget build thread, it was a big part of what made me start my own build. I’m making videos of my build and putting them on YouTube – I’ll make a separate post so I don’t hijack yours. But what you were saying about it being a table top chimed with what I was intending to do with mine. Even though I was building in a slightly larger case (27″ playfield) I have to on the idea of making it a table top. I just couldn’t see how I was going to fit everything inside, especially on my first go at a pinball.

    Really intrigued to see if you manage it!

    Good luck!

    Do you have a build thread? Go ahead and share a link to your channel here. I’d love to see your bar top build for some inspiration.

    Fitting everything inside will be a little tricky, but I think it’ll be manageable. I’ll have to remove the PC from the case and support the graphics card somehow. But I don’t think it’ll be too difficult. Here’s one possibility.

    I didn’t include the audio amps because they are just two very small circuit boards. I’m planning to mount them behind the backglass with the volume knobs poking out the back panel for easy sound adjustment. But I think everything else is there. The PSU is the only piece I’m worried about. To lay it out like this I’d have to be sure the whole thing is tall enough for the flipper buttons to clear it. I guess I could also swap it with the pinscape if I had to.

    layout

     

     

    I decided not to go the bartop route in the end. I just couldn’t get my head around how it was all going to fit together, I might revisit it on a future build after I have stripmined your thread for all the information ;)

    Here’s my build so far. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXlzLUL8ziTg9CrHM7ygN7-oqNUX5aQEz

    I’m trying to put up episodes every week. Be warned – it is not a guide or tutorial! I’m learning as I go and all my mistakes are included. :)

    All things ZZleeZZ

    #205334
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    16029745050780

    Well, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s a start.

    Despite my previous confidence about fitting everything in being a piece of cake, it turned out to be much harder than I thought.

    I revised my design over and over and still wasn’t confident it was going to fit. So I decided to take a hands on approach. The only things I know for sure are it’s going to be 12″ wide to match my screens and that I don’t want it longer than 26″. So I made a box.

    I’m going to position all the elements and then shape the profile around it.

    #205458
    topper-2k
    Participant
    @topper-2k

    Well, it’s going to be tight, but I think it’s all going to fit.

    I am still a little worried about cable management and ventilation. There’s very little  room to spare in there. I’m worried about a loose cable hitting the CPU or GPU fan. But I’m hopeful I can keep them out of the way.

     

    16030676892550

    16030676893431

    16030676893682

    Here’s an approximation of what I think my new profile is going to be.

    mando-ball-2

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